Thursday, March 18, 2010

oh a Aaa YESS! What an orgasmic climax!

It's been awesome.... I'm more than satisfied with last night! And I don't mean this sarcastically! I wholeheartedly, physically, intrinsically, spritually "came" with the outcome. In fact, I've needed all of today to recover.

Here, let me explain myself... I'm riding high on this wave of ecstatic happiness because:

1) My winning scam  predictions came true. Most of the scam ads that I featured have gone on to win every color of metal in the scam categories (print and outdoor). JWT Dubai was able to be in the top 3, contributing largely to JWT's network win, without even a single Grand Prix. How grand. And just slightly less grand we have the 3rd place winning Y&R Network, thanks to their cunning Dubai branch. (Now I'm not gonna list all the actual fakes. You who scam know very well who you are. Just know that others do too. Hope you don't have a clear conscience doing it next time because I know you surely will.)

2) My prediction for Agency of the Year did NOT come true! MEMAC Ogilvy Dubai won this honor, and I genuinely couldn't be happier. A well earned win for real work, great job guys, you have my respect. This is what the industry is all about. Great ideas, for honest brands, for actual consumers. Too bad I can't say the same for TBWA/Raad Dubai.

3) My wish for the Agency of the Year to be a Dubai agency came true. Dubailand is the shit! (no pun intended).

It's been a hell of a "ride". Hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have. I'm sure we'll get to do this again sometime...

Call me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guess Who's Scam Ad Man of the Year!

Who do you think it will be? Any thoughts anyone? Let's choose a few serious contenders from previous experiences and the material we've seen this year.

Surely you remember the infamous Chafic Haddad of JWT Dubai (the so-called-behind-his-back Lord of the Scam)? Not only does he have a proud and long history in this field, having set the unbeatable record number of scams in 2008, but 2010 seems to be his year as well! And by the looks of things, Russell Heubach seems to be a well-groomed new partner in crime, co-commiting and signing off on the same scam. Such scambags.

Now when we think of veterans in this field, none other than Shahir Zag of Y&R Dubai comes to mind. His reputation precedes him! With international exposure and expertise, he has honed his skills with many years of experience under his belt. One can't help but marvel at his unique con artistry, which is why his agency ranked 3rd last year. And in 2010, he does not cease to amaze either, also delivering the same quality of work. Such genius. What masterpieces!

But then we have the up and coming rising star from TBWA/Raad Dubai: Milos Ilic. Do not underestimate this fellow! Although slightly lagging behind his other 2 opponents, he's successfully been able to make a name for himself in the past few years, which is why I'm so proud to announce that he's FINALLY made it onto our coveted list of Top 3 contenders!

Who's going to walk away with the grand title of Scam Ad Man of the Year? It's totally up for grabs. Can't wait for tonight's ceremony when we'll know based on the Agency of the Year winner, which in turn is traditionally based on whoever dominates the print and outdoor categories. But either way, I'm so glad and can rest assured that the title will go back to where it belongs: Dubai. Not Doha. It's only fair when we're celebrating the Dubai Lynx, er Stynx, on home turf, no?

Sorry Mr. Amir Kassaei...

Not everyone has self dignity. And unfortunately, when they treat themselves with little respect, it sometimes means they treat others the same way. They flew you in, you the chief creative officer of DDB group Germany, to judge what you've been told is the cream of Arab world-class talent in advertising. Well, at least they got one thing right, this IS advertising, of the agency brands that is, not of their actual brands. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your mission to the region is practically based on a hoax.

Dear everyone else, if you're determined to put on a show, let's at least pull our act together. Break a leg! (And do yourself a favor by having some rehabilitation done, so that we all come back next year fresh and nicely healed. Please!)

Caught up in the hocus pocus, are we?

Yeah, we love the glitz and glam. I can see how Dubai breeds innovation in allowing Armani's dream of a hotel come to life, or providing Tiger Woods with the opportunity to design his dream golf course. But what about breeding innovation and creativity in advertising? Why is it that most questionable campaigns seem to come out of here as well? Are we all that desperate to make it big? Are we all working towards solidifying Dubai's reputation as the creative hotspot in the region, or better yet, the world? By the looks of things, we're all ruled by the looks of things. It's a fact: we do love to put on a show, and the Dubai Lynx is no exception.

Because it's certainly no NGO working for no profit. It is to their advantage to "craft" cash cow categories and just ask for client blessings, setting up rules and regulations just to be politically correct. But who are they kidding, do they not live in the Middle East like the rest of us? Rules are meant to be bent and broken here. So where's the follow up? Where's the investigation of the media plan? Where's any semblance of self worth and dignity? Shame...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

O Anubis, where art thou?

O Anubis, Anubis, wherefore art thou Anubis? We used to look to you as the bearer of the truth. But what's in a name, right? Especially when it can be bought along with your voice.

Now we reach the Dubai Lynx (that which we call a piece of shit but by any other name would smell as foul). And since the Lord Anubis has sold his soul to the devil, and we have a missing persons report on John Doe, I've taken it upon myself to take the name-bashing, finger-pointing, crying-they're-crying-wolf  initiative forward.

To all you readers out there: I do hereby solemnly swear to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. For now and forevermore. So help me God. (And may God help the Lynx!)

Reynolds by JWT Dubai

My nominee for the "Grand Scam" award in Print, Craft Print, Outdoor and every other category, come to think of it.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)



Where's the fight in the dog now?

Scam in the first degree!

Ah, the frustration! This year's Lynx seems to be not just the 4th edition, but an unlimited edition, of the Dubai International Scam Advertising Festival. And to think we would have learnt from last year. Or the year before! Come on guys, isn't this getting old? Aren't you just the least bit curious how creative minds suddenly burst forth award-winning ideas on the eve of the ceremony? Why does our industry need to run a show? Why can't we run consumer's heartfelt emotions and actions instead? We're selling ourselves short each and every year.

OK, so let's get down and dirty. Let's separate the scum from the sludge. Sure, this may be a daunting task when we take a look at the OOH and print categories, but let's be optimistic realists: I am a firm believer in the law, the law that dictates almost every print and outdoor shortlisted is really guilty until proven innocent. Doesn't that make things easier? So for anyone who has miraculously spotted any of the below candidates more than once, or even once, in any magazine, on any street corner, in any city, please do let me know so that I change their verdict. Believe me, I desperately want to believe in magic! In true magic that reaches real people, not just secret magic that reaches nothing other than the judging committee. Let us wish upon a star…

Tarwij by Impact BBDO Beirut

Just the way to start your day! Should run for Gold Scam in print for encouraging clients to be so openminded in spreading World Peace.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Lika Gum by Elephant Cairo

Sorry I couldn't get original jpegs, but here's when my phone comes in handy.

I don't get it. And I wouldn't be able to see it on the road either, especially in Cairo. This would get my vote for Best Outdoor in the Food for Scam section.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Intersection by Y&R Dubai

An ad for a car magazine, I didn't know that car lovers would be interested in reading on and on about quilling and different kinds of brush strokes and and and, just like I'm sure you wouldn't want to read on if I went on and on about them! I would say this has good chances in the Interactive category.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

The Industry Learns from the Best

Adapt. Adopt & Improve.
Good job everyone. This year, you've surely had the pleasure of following in the footsteps of the great Fadi Yaeesh by playing it safe. No Jesus, no naked girls, no make-believe products, and no replicas of existing ads. At least there's improvement. Whether or not the quality of advertising in outdoor and print advertising in the lives of citizens in the Middle East is improving, is a totally different story. But we can't deny how good people are getting in covering their tracks. Mr. Yaeesh last year explored all possible methods to stretch the rules for a research he was conducting to complete a masterpiece of work he calls "What not to do when submitting a ghost ad to the Lynx Jury" (Apparently, from everyone's submissions, it was a best seller)

Not only have creatives worked on themselves, but the Lynx Festival has also improved! They opened up a totally new category for all the production houses in Asia that are participating every year under the names of their respective agencies. After all, a category had to be created in honor of their stunningly crafted pieces of retouched and 3D work for ads whose life expectancy drops the moment the ceremony comes to a close and everyone hits the bar. As for the rest of the Middle East population not consuming alcohol, they will remember for sure that they have not seen them. And so the bordello of ads by the industry for the industry continues...

Reach by JWT Dubai

And the winner is, drum roll please: The client servicing team who succeeded in convincing the client to run this, assuming it actually ran for real in print and outdoor. I nominate this as a serious contender in the Thin Line Between Fantasy and Reality category.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Nissan by TBWA\Raad Dubai

Mexican Maid. Hillbilly Grandpa. Arab not Texan Audience. This should win a Gold Scam award in print for its international reach.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Sugar Daddy by Leo Burnett Dubai

Come to papa Sugar Daddy. I'm sure such ads will sell cupcakes like hotcakes. Where did they appear again?
I would place this in the easy-to-win hard-to-see Craft category.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Airfree by Broadcom Dubai

Gold in Craft for the Best use of Bacteria.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Colgate MaxFresh by Y&R Dubai

Here is a demonstration of how respectable clients can be partners in crime. I nominate this for "Best Use of Make-Believe Advertising".
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

The Jamjar by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai

As a result of being bombarded by this indoor poster plastered all over Dubai, I suffer from nightmares to this day. I just can't get over this one. I would say it should be up for the Craft grand prix, for crafting a grand scam.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Aldar by JWT Dubai

What a handful of ideas and a double standard in creativity. Has anyone seen their actual ads? I nominate this for the Best use of unreal print.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Caracalla by The Tribe Dubai

I fail to understand how this sells manicures. Soft hands that form a rabbit? Or what's the other shape meant to be? Um, I don't even know what category this campaign would fit into, but it's a sure winner.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Colgate Sonic Power 360 toothbrush by Y&R Dubai

Has anyone seen this in outdoor or print? Please do prove it, because I actually like this campaign. I want to be a believer!
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)

Six Stars by Grey Dubai

What a lovely ad to show on outdoors. If you can read that little something in the bottom right hand corner that is. This would certainly score high in Outdoor Legibility.
(Guilty until proven innocent by you)